In a Nutshell:
The Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II is a beautiful design, filled with cutting-edge features. We absolutely recommend this model to anyone who needs a massage chair with a strong suite of therapeutic features—as long as they don’t weigh more than 265 pounds and if they can afford it.
Overall Massage Quality
Ease of Use
Value for the Money
Are you in the market for a massage chair? Are you also a technophile who loves embracing and testing out bleeding-edge technology, getting your hands on it before just about everyone else?
If you answered yes to those questions, then you’re probably going to fall in love with the Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II massage chair by the time you reach the end of this review.
In many ways, it’s a masterwork product. It’s beautiful, comfortable, and sumptuously upholstered. It’s also capable of rendering a really great massage.
Unfortunately, it’s also a top-end model, which means that if you want one, be prepared to spend as much on this chair as you might on a decent used car. And, although it features lots of cool new technology, part of the problem is, it’s largely untested technology.
Maybe the stuff that Bodyfriend has introduced with this chair will catch on and become new industry standards over time. Or maybe, they’ll be flashes in the proverbial pan—here today and gone tomorrow.
No one can say for sure, which is always the risk you take when you’re dealing with new, cutting-edge technology.
If you like taking chances on that kind of thing, though, you’re going to absolutely love what you read here, and even if you don’t, we promise you’ll be intrigued.
In the sections that follow, we’ll step you through everything the mighty Pharaoh S 2 has to offer, and you can decide for yourself. If that sounds good to you, let’s jump right in and take a closer look!
An Overview Of The Bodyfriend Massage Chair Pharaoh S 2
Aesthetics matter to some people more than others. If you suffer from chronic pain, you’re probably much more interested in how the massage chair you’re thinking about buying can help make you feel better, and how it looks is a distant secondary consideration—if it’s taken into account at all.
Having said that, if you’re going to spend as much on a massage chair as you might on a decent used car, then you can rightly expect to have the best of both worlds, and on the aesthetics front, the Pharaoh massage chair really delivers.
It’s only offered in a single color—gold-tone—and despite the fact that the design team made no effort to hide the true function of the chair, it’s an oddly beautiful piece.
Yes, it looks a bit futuristic. Yes, it’s probably going to stand out like a brightly burning neon sign compared to the other furniture in the room with it. In this case, however, the aesthetic makes it appear more like a softly glowing golden throne. It looks inviting. Comfortable.
It beckons the viewer to come have a seat and enjoy a massage.
That’s no small feat for the massage chair industry because few other chairs on the market evoke that sentiment, and it is a testament to the Pharaoh’s designers. The chair is a thing of beauty.
It’s also, well….huge. There’s just no other way to say it.
Measuring 61” L x 33.5” W x 42.7” H when upright and 78.7” L x 33.5” W x 39” H when fully reclined and weighing in at more than three hundred pounds, this is a hulking brute of a piece of furniture. You’re definitely going to need help getting it where you want it to go, and you’ll need help if you ever decide to move it.
Despite its impressive size, we were a little underwhelmed at the supported weight of the chair.
Broadly speaking, if you do a survey across the massage chair industry, you’ll find that, comfortably, over half the chairs on the market today support 300 pounds of user weight or more.
This one does not. It’s listed as supporting users up to 6’3” in height with a weight limit of 265 pounds, but the user manual recommends no more than 220 pounds.
That’s a genuine disappointment that will limit the appeal of the chair, and it didn’t have to be that way. It would have been easy to reinforce the frame without adding significantly to the price, which would have made it accessible to a much broader swath of the market.
On the other hand, big as the chair is, we were pleased to see that it was built with wall-hugging technology and only requires 4” of clearance between the seatback and whatever wall you plan to place the chair near.
That makes it a bit easier to find a permanent home for the chair, though it’s still a big piece of furniture, so it may not work for people who live in a smaller home or apartment.
The final thing to mention before we leave this section is the upholstery.
The vast, overwhelming majority of the massage chairs sold today are upholstered with PU. It has the advantage of being inexpensive and easy to clean, but it’s not breathable. It’s not durable, and it will start showing its age very quickly.
Given the price of this chair, we were thrilled to see it upholstered in genuine leather. It’s supple, longer-lasting, and it really adds to the quality of the chair. When you take your seat in it, you can feel the difference, and it’s amazing.
The Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II Is Built Using State-Of-The-Art Technology
The bones of the chair are exquisite, which is exactly what you’d expect from a high-end chair like this.
It boasts a long “SL” massage track that starts at your neck, travels down the seatback following the curve of your spine, and then bends and continues under the seat, where it allows the rollers to massage your glutes and the backs of your thighs.
This, combined with the roomy leg massage port, allows the chair to render a full body massage that will relax you literally from head to toe.
Even better, the chair comes equipped with Bodyfriend’s excellent body scanning technology, so when you sit down on the chair, it will quietly take a scan and adjust the position of the industry-standard quad rollers, moving them to exactly where they need to be in order to hit your body’s pressure points precisely.
As good as Bodyfriend’s body scanning tech is, every once in a while, it won’t get the rollers exactly where they need to be. And in those cases, you’ll find controls on the remote that allow you to manually tweak their position so that you never get anything but the best massage this chair is capable of delivering, and that’s awesome.
On top of all that, the massage track allows the rollers to move along the x-, y- and z-axis, making this a 3D massage track, but you’ll note that the company describes this as a 4D massage chair.
Now, the first thing to say about this is the fact that the industry hasn’t really settled on what 4D means. Some companies use it as little more than a marketing gimmick, but in this case, Bodyfriend means something very specific.
This chair is the first one we’ve seen where the rollers are “smart”. They can change their configuration, so when maximum pressure is needed, two of the four rollers retract, and the motors put all their effort into really pressing the two remaining rollers into the sorest spots on your back.
Then, when you need more finesse and a slightly lighter touch, all four rollers are engaged.
It’s brilliant, and we suspect that it will become standard practice in the industry over time. This is one of the cutting-edge features we mentioned at the start. We love it, and we think you will too, especially if you’re looking for a chair that’s capable of delivering a deep tissue massage. This one has you covered.
Not As Many Techniques As We Were Hoping But Plenty Of Options Overall
We’ll be quick to admit that we were somewhat disappointed with the techniques on offer where this chair is concerned. The Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II doesn’t offer much more than the basics. You’ll find:
Most of this is pretty standard fare, but there is one technique to draw your attention to, and that is Acupressure.
It’s not a technique you’ll find commonly offered, but it does qualify as an advanced massage technique.
The company describes it as “Open Palm Shiatsu”. It’s not.
Although Shiatsu and Acupressure do have some similarities, they are both distinct techniques in their own right, so it’s not really accurate of the company to say it’s a form of Shiatsu.
We do not, however, feel that this is a case of the company intentionally trying to deceive prospective buyers. It’s just that few people have heard of a massage chair that offers Acupressure, but just about everyone has heard of massage chairs that offer Shiatsu. So, in our view, the company was trying to create a relatable connection.
We understand that, but just so you know, Acupressure really is distinct from Shiatsu.
Despite the fact that there aren’t as many techniques as we would have liked to see on this chair, there are tons of great pre-programmed massage options. These fall into two categories: general massage and “brain massage” (we’ll explain that one in a minute).
Starting with the general massage programs, we find:
Sixteen excellent routines in all. Here, we’d count Stretch as a therapeutic benefit, Digestive as a second therapeutic benefit, and we’d collectively call the two Lymphatic variants as a third therapeutic benefit.
So right off the bat, if you’re considering the purchase of a massage chair for therapeutic reasons, there are three great reasons for picking this one, and we’re just getting started.
The rest of the Pharaoh massage chair’s pre-programmed options fall under the category they call “brain massage.”
This is another of the company’s bleeding-edge features, and we’re not as sold on this one. The idea is that the massages in this section are paired with binaural beat music, which supposedly not only relaxes you but also helps to improve and increase brain activity.
It accomplishes this via the intersection of two sounds of differing frequencies combining to create a third sound in the brain. The theory is that the sound aligns with your brainwaves to help put you in an even more relaxed state.
The problem is, there’s really not a lot of science we could find to back up these claims.
That’s not to say that there’s nothing to it. The music is soothing, and the massage options here really are relaxing; we’re just not sure that medical doctors will be lining up to endorse it as any sort of treatment for anything.
Even so, it’s an interesting option, and you’ll find a number of incredible massages in this section, including:
This brings us to a grand total of 24 different pre-programmed options. Since we’re a bit skeptical of the science behind these “brain massages”, we won’t count any of them as therapeutic features, but your mileage may vary here.
Even so, we’ve barely begun to talk about what this chair has to offer, and we’ve already unearthed three therapeutic features, which is pretty amazing.
Before we move on, though, we should say a few words about body stretching. As mentioned in the general massage options, this is functionally similar to the chiropractic adjustment you get when you go to your local chiropractor’s office.
Bodyfriend does a pretty good job here, but note that their body stretch isn’t the best in the industry.
It feels good, and it certainly gets the job done. But if you’re looking for a chair that offers the best body stretch you can get, then you want a Kahuna chair. Having said that, Bodyfriend’s body stretch is certainly a strong contender and a fine addition to this chair. You won’t be disappointed!
If all of the above isn’t enough, you can adjust any of these massage options through five different speed levels and six different intensity levels via the remote, which gives you a simply dizzying number of options for customization and personalization.
On top of that, if you’re not using one of the pre-programmed massage options but ordering a specific technique manually, you can put the chair in “XD” mode, which offers five levels of intensity that cause the rollers to press more firmly into your back, giving you an unbelievably deep, deep tissue massage.
We haven’t seen anything else like it on the massage chair market, and we have to count this as a fourth therapeutic benefit of the Bodyfriend Pharaoh 2 because the deep tissue massage this chair is capable of delivering is simply out of this world.
Still not enough for you?
Well, the Bodyfriend Pharoah has even more in store for you because it offers both spot and partial massage modes, so you can really have those rollers work on the sore spots. It’s intense but will make you feel so much better!
A Good Airbag Massage
Naturally, this top-end massage chair offers more than simply a roller-based massage. You can also order a head-to-toe airbag massage, adjustable via the remote through five different intensity levels.
It feels great, there’s no denying that, and it’s very handy that you can selectively activate airbags by body region, including:
Ultimately, though, our sense is that the air massage is competently implemented here, but it’s not going to impress you to the point that it will wind up being one of your stated reasons for picking this chair over some other.
Yet another therapeutic feature the Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II brings to the table is the fact that you can recline the chair into a Zero-G seating position. That brings us to a running total of four, by the way.
This is superb. Inspired by NASA, Zero-G seating really does leave you with a feeling of weightlessness, but that’s not the big draw here.
There’s plenty of scientific evidence that demonstrates that Zero-G seating helps lower blood pressure and improves blood flow and circulation. So if you’ve recently had surgery of one sort or another, it will facilitate faster healing, which is amazing.
In addition to that, if you really want to take the chair’s deep tissue massage to the next level, put it in the Zero-G position before ordering your massage, then crank the intensity level all the way up. It may be more intense than you can stand, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find another chair on the market that can match this one in terms of deep tissue massage.
The only complaint we have here is that there’s only a single Zero-G seating position on offer.
For a chair at this price point, we would love to have seen two or even three seating options on offer, but even one’s good, and we’d certainly take it!
An Out-Of-This-World Calf and Foot Massage
This makes five therapeutic features available from the Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II, and, in our view, this is the standout feature of the design. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a massage chair that can top this one in terms of calf and foot massage.
The secret to Bodyfriend’s success here lies in the fact that both the calf and foot massage are rendered by a combination of airbags and massage rollers.
You’ll find airbags and massage rollers attending to your calves and airbags and massage rollers attending to your feet.
Normally, you see the calf massage rendered via airbags only and the foot massage rendered by rollers only.
By utilizing both in both places and by allowing the user to adjust the intensity via three levels on the remote, the results are nothing short of sublime.
The only way the calf and foot massage could be made better would have been if the company had included heat in the footwells, but if that had been the case, you might never want to get up from the chair again!
Even without heated footwells, though, the calf and foot massage is amazing. If you spend a large portion of each day on your feet and are looking for relief when you get home, this will probably wind up being your favorite feature by a wide margin.
Excellent Heat Offered Too!
Only a minority of massage chairs on the market today offer heat, but the Pharaoh certainly does, giving it a sixth therapeutic feature on offer.
It utilizes infrared heat and a twin-coil design, allowing you to adjust the heat level via the remote through three settings. These are simply labeled 1, 2, and 3, and each one gets progressively hotter, topping out at 140 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Where most of the chairs that offer heat do so only in the lumbar region of your back, the size of these coils means that you get the benefits of heat over most of your back, which is another out-of-this-world feature.
Massage by itself feels good, but when you add heat, it really takes things to the next level, and you’ll love this feature too.
High-Value Finishing Touches Also Included
The Pharaoh includes a trio of high-value extras, in addition to everything else we’ve talked about.
These include Bluetooth speakers built into the chair, a massage timer that allows you to set the duration of your massage—choosing between 10, 20, or 30 minutes—and soothing LED lights on the sides of the chair.
In addition to that, since the chair is built using high-quality materials and to exacting standards, it should come as no surprise that Bodyfriend offers it with an impressive 5-year warranty.
All of that is good, but we were still rather surprised at what’s missing.
For a top-end chair, we feel that adding a USB port and memory slots—allowing you to save your favorite massage settings for one-touch recall later—would not have been out of the question, and yet, neither of those things are present in the current design.
Even so, the extras that are on offer are outstanding and definitely add value to the chair. We don’t think there will be many people who are disappointed in them.
Pros & Cons of Pharaoh Massage Chair
Bodyfriend knows how to build a great massage chair, and the Pharaoh is definitely well worth considering. The company got a lot right, including the fact that there are half a dozen hard-hitting therapeutic features woven into the design, which is beyond impressive.
That said, we have to consider the Bodyfriend massage chair Pharaoh price. It’s expensive. Frighteningly expensive. And that fact alone is going to put it out of the reach of most potential buyers. That’s a pity, and it is the single biggest negative about the model.
The only other real negative to mention here is the fact that the chair has a truly disappointing maximum supported weight limit. That’s not a problem if you happen to weigh less than 265 pounds, but if you weigh more, then it’s a deal-breaker—no matter how much you may love this chair.
Bodyfriend Pharaoh S II Review Conclusion
We almost love the Pharaoh 2. Almost.
Unfortunately, its extremely high price will leave most potential buyers with a bad case of sticker shock, and that, coupled with its modest weight limit, ultimately makes this design a niche product.
It’s a superb option for lightly to moderately built folks who have plenty of discretionary income and are looking for a chair with lots of therapeutic features on offer. But, unfortunately, that’s a fairly narrow slice of the market.
For those users, in particular, we recommend this chair without reservation. For everyone else, we can only give it a provisional recommendation. It’s an exceptional piece of engineering—if you can afford it and don’t exceed its weight limit.
Other Options To Consider
So, having read to the end, if you’ve decided that the Pharaoh 2 just isn’t the chair you’re looking for, here are a couple of other options that are well worth considering:
This is an almost-perfect massage chair, and anyone who is considering the purchase of a top-end chair should definitely compare whatever they’re thinking about buying to this one. It truly is the gold standard where high-end massage chairs go.
While this model has a shorter massage track (S, vs. the SL track of the chair we just talked about), it’s simply a masterpiece of design.
One of the best therapeutic massage chairs on the market today, this one features a different set of therapeutic features than the model we just reviewed. So if the Bodyfriend isn’t a perfect fit, this one definitely belongs on your shortlist of options to consider.
Reference & Resources